A warm and lucid bundle of smooth alt-country swoon, the brand new album Right! is out today! 

Although Rich likes all of the songs off the album obviously. He did choose his top 5 from the album.

Hey folks, I know it’s stating the obvious but I like them all, otherwise I wouldn’t have included them. So it feels a bit odd to be choosing favourites here. But, if you don’t tell the rest, here goes:

  1. Blue Wildflowersthis one has to come first as without it I doubt the rest of the album would have made as much sense. It’s the song that grounded the record. It’s also the track that grabbed producer Rohan Sforcina’s attention too that we might actually have something going on here when we jumped onto it on the first day. It’s also the lead track and the last single. So big wraps for it right there. It’s an interesting song in that it’s essentially a massive apology for maybe not doing the right thing in the past – or at least a recognition that I could have done better. Super blokey blokes say: “own your own shit, never apologise”. A “real men don’t eat quiche” kind of thing. Well I love quiche, sometimes. Nothing wrong with an apology too – this ‘never apologise’ stuff is utter crap. Go shine yer spurs, ya boobies – the rest of us have got better things to do. 
  2. Love Someonethis was the first single from the record, and a song that’s still getting better the more we play it. It’s a stayer for sure. When I first made the demo, I put a big Prince-like guitar solo through to the end. What was I thinking? So, after I put my axe-hero ego away, it turned into the mighty fine number it always was underneath. Phil Wakeman’s mandolin at the start came out the blue in a fabulous way and Charlie Woods took the song to another place with her beautiful trumpet. I’m lucky to play with such brilliant folks. 
  3. The Last Rowdy Hour I reckon the hour before closing time is pretty much the same everywhere around the world – well, in places with a bit of juice about them anyway, which is where you want to be. There’s a mad scramble to suck the most out of the evening, and time is running out. Tick, tick, tick. Drink, drink, drink. The song was loosely based around the goings on at a pub in Fitzroy North in the 1990s, where I was lucky to spend plenty of quality time. But I’ve seen the same thing happen all over the world. There was a pub in Soho I used to love that was just the same – you could feel the noise and intensity rise in the run up to closing time, reaching a crescendo just before the pumps are switched off. An hour later, none of it makes much sense, but it was something mighty fine at the time.
  4. You’re always here in my mind I’m pulling this one out because otherwise no one will talk about it. It’s in many ways the straightest song on the album, but it’s got a lovely louche swinging feel to it and it name-checks Boxcar Willie, an interesting American old-school country singer who was popular in the UK for a while and did a brilliant train whistle sound as part of his act. He had his name on his guitar strap too, which seems to be something that’s making a bit of a comeback. It’s a song about life moving on but as you move on, the people that were a big part of your life, come with you too. You continue to grow with them. There are people I haven’t seen to 15 years I can bump into out the blue, and it feels like we were only talking yesterday. There’s a real friendship and connection there.      

How is this album different to others I’ve done? That’s a bit harder to answer. I’ve usually been recording while we’ve been playing, so I’ve recorded in three or four different studios and then put an album together. This one was done in the one place, so maybe there is more consistency in sound across this record. Not saying it’s better because of that but it does have that over the last one. On the reverse of that, bands that are playing a lot live record better so that’s something in favour of the other way. Other than that, I just think you get better as time goes by. Better at songwriting and performing, and also better at getting what you want when you are recording. You make better decisions. What you are looking for changes over time too, and you can’t help but love the energy you had when you were as keen as mustard and in there for the first time. I seem to have talked myself out of saying anything here. It’s easier to say what is the same – and I hope, like my other records, it captures a time and a place. I reckon that’s probably as much as you can hope for.

1. Blue Wildflowers
2. Love Someone
3. I Don’t Mind At All (Bring On Summer)
4. 50 Miles
5. You’re Always Here In My Mind
6. The Last Rowdy Hour
7. Nothing To Lose
8. Shapeshifter
9. Dead City

Right! is due for release on Friday December 9.

Album launch – from 5pm, free admission